How to Teach Essay Writing: Tools for Educators


By Veronica Hunt
Veronica Hunt is a true edtech expert and is a freelance writer. She features the latest education and marketing trends in her articles. You can connect with her on Linkedin and Google+

If you are sure that it is impossible to improve students’ writing skills with the help of online tools, apps and websites and you resist the modern technologies that influence educational process – you will change your mind after reading this article. Essay writing is something most students have problems with. Therefore, there are many educational writing resources created to help your students and you. These tools focus on different aspects of the writing process to make sure that every student finds something really useful among them. Some help learners improve grammar and language knowledge, the others engage them in creative writing and inspire new ideas.

Due to the fact that there is a huge amount of websites, tools, and apps to practice and improve writing skills, we have created the following list for you to rely on. Choose one of these options or combine a couple of them to experiment and boost your students’ creativity.

If your students are suffering from all those MLA, APA, Chicago and Harvard formatting styles and always forget the difference between them – provide them with a link to CitationMachine. This website generates citations in different styles automatically. Your students will be glad that their marks are not going to be lower due to the formatting mistakes. This website can be used to create in-text citations and bibliographies for online and other sources: websites, books, magazines, newspapers, videos, podcast, and much more.

The website can serve as a writing guide for students, who have no ideas about what to write in their essays. There one can get free papers to use as a writing guide and source of inspiration. These papers are composed by other students and this is useful for your learners to know what others write about. Moreover, this website allows users to share their writings and get feedback from others, so students can get an evaluation of their pieces, given by other students, not educators. This is a good practice for them!

WriteToLearn is an automated online tool for improving literacy, developing writing skills and practicing reading comprehension. This one is for educators, who want to teach their students and make them better instead of just grading. Your students will find this website enjoyable, since it focuses on grammar, spelling and punctuation as well as on the content. No other automated writing tool offers such a specific approach – the users get comments and tips for improvement. In a word, this website helps your students and saves your own time, too.

All educators want to decrease the pressure if grading. If you are one of them, try and offer your students to use them to get a feedback on their papers. This website helps students to evaluate and revise the content of their papers before sending them to you, which saves your precious time and increases the students’ chances to get better grades. Moreover, this tool is suitable for knowledge-based essays in different disciplines such as biology, psychology, and history and it checks the content as well.

This one is amazing to learn and practice creative writing. StoryBird offers beautiful art to inspire your students and motivate them to write books and stories. Your students will be totally amazed if you offer them to create an assignment with illustrations by means of this tool. Try this when you are having classes or homework tasks dedicated to creative writing.

Time4Learning is a resource helpful for middle and elementary school students. It allows students to focus on the pre-writing process, take detailed notes, format a draft correctly and more. This tool will help your students create more carefully-composed essays and you, as a teacher, will be provided by answer keys and simple grading guides.

Conducting and online research becomes easier if your students use Evernote. This is an application, which allows gathering and storing important information in one place. This app has more useful features, but immediate note-taking with an opportunity to make screen shots, save audio files and images is the best one. Evernote allows the users to reach the stored data from anywhere. Offer your students to work with Evernote and their researching process will become faster and more effective. (Criterion)

Visit this page to get access to the instructional tool that guides students during all stages of writing process – planning, outlining, writing, and revising. This writing tool has an instant feedback function to help learners notice and correct mistakes and editing the document before submitting it to you. This comprehensive supporting tool is necessary for educators, who want to guide their students through the higher level of academic writing.

This website allows educators create assignments and quizzes without any grading. Try to give your students a task they are not going to be judged for and see how their strong sides uncover themselves. As a teacher, you can track the students’ growth using the heat maps.

Paper writing is challenging for both – students and teachers. As an educator, you should not expect that your students will be able only to learn from their own mistakes and develop amazing writing skills without any additional help. Use the websites listed above to make this process easier and more enjoyable for them and you!



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